Diverse Voices: Empowering Human Rights Defenders

18-12-2014

GHRD has been implementing its Train the Trainers programme (TOT) in Bangladesh since May 2013. 15 organisations working for LGBT people, religious minorities and indigenous people, joined the trainings with the aim of developing expertise on human rights investigation, communication and media, project development, lobbying and advocacy. The first phase of the TOT ended in May 2014. The participating group was  a dynamic diverse group of 27 Human Rights Defenders (HRDs). The group, which comprised people of different religions, sexualities and ethnicities, successfully completed the trainings. GHRD and its local partners are currently implementing the second phase of TOT, the local trainings. HRDs who have completed the first phase are conducting similar trainings for their colleagues, other human rights defenders and community people in Bangladesh. 15 organisations will continue their local trainings until end of January 2015 and train 160 people on various topics.

GHRD is pleased to have witnessed to the immediate and beneficial results of the local trainings. An example of these is the training on photography and video, conducted by Bandhu Social Welfare Society with the support of GHRD. Rofiqul Islam Royal, a was empowered by the trainings and inspired to realise a powerful photo exhibition entitled: “Diversity Voices: Documenting the reality of gender variation would break the silence in Bangladesh”, together with Sebastien Chatelier. Muktasree Chakma Sathi supported the exhibition as the storyteller. The exhibition is an important advocacy tool which portrays the lives of LGBT people and generates a humanizing stance towards LGBT rights. The exhibition was displayed in Dhaka at BSWS offices which is followed by another one in Calcutta, India from 19th to 23rd November, 2014.

It is always incredibly rewarding for GHRD to  receive genuine gratitude from local HRDs. Rofiqul Islam Royal explicitly expressed his appreciation of the training: “These are the results of your training and this happened because of your organisation.” The trainings are a start, but it is the passion of the HRDs that leads to the realisation of such wonderful and powerful projects.

Click here to view the exhibition photos.

Click here to check out the exhibition brochure of Calcutta, India.